Mattis “Alone”

It seems pretty clear that we need a thorough house cleaning at the Pentagon after the disaster of the past eight years. And probably every other agency and department as well. The civil service system has resulted in a permanent government, that tends to itself rather than the nation and people.

[Update a few minutes later]

Related: EPA workers fight to prevent the nomination of Pruitt. That is not part of their job description. Can them.

[Saturday-morning update]

Who “rules” the United States?

These days an architect of the overreaching and antidemocratic Waters of the U.S. regulation worries that her work will be overturned so she undertakes extraordinary means to defeat her potential boss. But a change in policy is a risk of democratic politics. Nowhere does it say in the Constitution that the decisions of government employees are to be unquestioned and preserved forever. Yet that is precisely the implication of this unprecedented protest. “I can’t think of any other time when people in the bureaucracy have done this,” a professor of government tells the paper. That sentence does not leave me feeling reassured.

Opposition to this president takes many forms. Senate Democrats have slowed confirmations to the most sluggish pace since George Washington. Much of the New York and Beltway media does really function as a sort of opposition party, to the degree that reporters celebrated the sacking of Flynn as a partisan victory for journalism. Discontent manifests itself in direct actions such as the Women’s March.

But here’s the difference. Legislative roadblocks, adversarial journalists, and public marches are typical of a constitutional democracy. They are spelled out in our founding documents: the Senate and its rules, and the rights to speech, a free press, and assembly. Where in those documents is it written that regulators have the right not to be questioned, opposed, overturned, or indeed fired, that intelligence analysts can just call up David Ignatius and spill the beans whenever they feel like it?

Hey, give the little tyrants a break; they’re trying to save the planet.

[Bumped]

12 thoughts on “Mattis “Alone””

  1. This fight is existential and we need to be serious about it. No quarter. Obama has made himself the enemy of America along with his minions. We win; They lose… has to be our goal.

  2. Mattis, Pruitt, Pompeo, Sessions….

    They all have to assume that any employee below the ones they brought with them into the job are potential Obama-plants. Several levels of management must be vetted, and replaced if there’s the slightest hint of partisanship. Anyone found playing political games with their position should be fired immediately and charged if they committed a crime.

    Big job for Sessions. I bet he’s up to it.

    1. “They all have to assume that any employee below the ones they brought with them into the job are potential Obama-plants.”

      In regards the EPA, it goes substantially beyond that, substantially before the Obama administration. In the summer of 1971, I was talking to the sister of my girlfriend and her fiance, about them heading off for positions at the EPA. Before the hour ended, Timmy was telling me that the human species was a cancer on the Earth. That a nuclear war would be acceptable as long as it stopped industrial society. That he would use his career at EPA to end industrial society. Timmy’s Phd was in Ornithology.

      Three years later I asked my now ex-girlfriend what was happening to Cathy and Timmy, she replied they had just been married after his second promotion and his career was doing well enough they had decided to buy a house in D.C. This is the sort of people that have risen for 48 years through the ranks of the EPA, and selected their successors through evaluations and promotions.

      1. The problem is that we have too many people who have careers, either in government or academia, that exist outside of productive society. When people are disassociated from the production end of the equation that is taxed to allow the government and academic end of the equation to exist, it is bad for society and leads to the mental rot you describe above.

  3. “Thornberry emphasized that Mattis can’t solve the problem by himself, and that the slow process of filling defense roles at the Pentagon is preventing the Trump administration from fulfilling its promise to rebuild the military.”

    What has slowed down the process? These aren’t positions requiring Senate approval, are they?

  4. “What has slowed down the process? These aren’t positions requiring Senate approval, are they?”

    No they don’t. But you can bet that the organizational table at the Pentagon is a spaghetti-like nightmare. Untangling all that junk and finding out who is serious about a lethal military and who is a political animal will take a lot of time.

  5. One thing they could do is require all new regulations to require a vote by elected representatives. …and no more, “we have to pass it to see what’s in it.”

  6. But here’s the difference. Legislative roadblocks, adversarial journalists, and public marches are typical of a constitutional democracy.

    The problem is that one party thinks that these rights only apply to them.

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